Gaming Room 101 – Which Gadgets Are Right For You?

Having a personal gaming room is so incredibly beneficial to the core gamer, especially if you’re a tournament player or just an escapist who needs their own space. If you work from home, doesn’t it make sense to have a home office? Distractions come so easily when you’re “in the zone”. Why can’t the dog walk itself? Gaming becomes much more enjoyable when you’re able to shut the door on the rest of the world and completely immerse yourself in an RPG character or first-person shooter.

Gearing up for Gaming

For anyone serious about creating a central gaming room that caters to a hardcore PC and console gamer, the ideal objective should be comfort and high-performance functionality. Skimping on these essentials I’ve listed would be highly detrimental to your gaming experience.
Why? Because You Deserve It

  • For the Real Surround Experience – Comfortable headphones are vastly superior to speakers for gaming. There are some great surround sound systems out there for watching movies and listening to music, but for gaming I prefer a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones with surround sound support.

The immersion is so much more when you have a pair of great headphones that completely block out the world around you. Companies like Sony, Bose and Sennheiser make excellent headphones for under $100.

  • Communication is Key – If you’re playing team-based games that require strategizing with friends over live chat, then you definitely want to invest in a crisp, clear headset. This is similar to purchasing a good pair of headphones, but expect them to tack on an extra $30 – $50 for a quality noise-cancelling microphone.

You’ll be thankful when your friends aren’t yelling at you for breathing into the mic, or trying to make out your voice over the hum of your fan.

  • Not Simply a Mouse – Using a regular mouse and keyboard can negatively impact your gaming performance without you even realizing it. Most people don’t understand how a mouse can make a difference in their gaming, but once you try a brand like Razer or a high-end Logitech, you’ll notice that simple things like adjustable sensitivity buttons can make a world of difference. You can even buy mice for different gripping styles for increased comfort and play styles.
  • Cross-Compatible Controllers – Microsoft has made their Xbox 360 controller compatible with a score of PC game titles, and some of them play better with a controller than with a mouse and keyboard.

Many gamers prefer a controller when playing 3rd person (camera behind the player) games such as Skyrim or Assassin’s creed, because the thumbsticks offer better axis support than the WASD configuration of most PC games. Most Microsoft games that are box-labelled “Games for Windows” include support for the Xbox controller.

  • Console Gaming on a Monitor – For a gaming monitor, the ideal setup is an LCD screen. You want one that has HDMI support for your console, and either DVI, VGA or another HDMI port for your PC graphics card.

Console games look best at 1080p but the picture gets blown up on a low resolution TV screen. PC gamers prefer much higher resolution monitors, so using an LCD monitor allows you the best of both worlds without sacrificing image quality on either.

  • Which Console is Right? – Between Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, it’s hard to pick the right console without knowing their individual merits. Nintendo’s Wii is best known for it’s younger age oriented games, with many titles like Pokemon and Mario.

The Xbox and Playstation are competing for the older game crowd, but this is also split into two gaming preferences. Fans of the Sony Playstation tend to gravitate towards Japanese RPG games like Final Fantasy, while the Xbox 360 caters to first-person shooters like Call of Duty. Online gaming is free on the Playstation Network, the consequence being locally hosted servers and more frequent lag, whereas Xbox Live membership costs a monthly fee but games generally enjoy dedicated servers.

I love to invite friends over to hang out and party in my gaming room, there’s been many awesome Rock Band nights, and just as many LAN nights. Real-time strategy games, are so much more fun when you have a group of 8 friends hooked up to a LAN, and creating a dedicated gaming room is a great way to entire friends over.

If space is an issue you can always consider things like bean bags or small scale recliners, obviously theatre seats would be awesome but you don’t need to break your bank to impress your friends. Just create a comfortable environment, with plenty of cool gadgets to enhance the gaming experience, and everyone will remark at how fun your pad is.

Mark Harris loves to play console games, owning quite the collection of nostalgic Atari and Nintendo games from Pong to the very first Super Mario Bros. Mark finds nothing more important than a comfortable chair whether he’s gaming or writing, and so he checks out sites like to get the scoop on the best seating available.